"I must have a good look at the beauty," he said, drawing closer, but the words were no sooner spoken than he turned pale and started so violently that he almost dropped the candle.
"The voetspoelen!" he cried! "Why, boys, it's the man who sat by the fire!"
"Of course it is," answered Peter. "We counted out money before him like simpletons. But what have we to do with voetspoelen, brother Ludwig? A month in jail is punishment enough."
The landlord's daughter had left the room. She now ran in, holding up a pair of huge wooden shoes. "See, father," she cried, "here are his great ugly boats. It's the man that we put in the next room after the young masters went to bed. Ah! It was wrong to send the poor young gentlemen up here so far out of sight and sound."
"The scoundrel!" hissed the landlord. "He has disgraced my house. I go for the police at once!"
In less than fifteen minutes two drowsy-looking officers were in the room. After telling Mynheer Kleef that he must appear early in the morning with the boys and make his complaint before a magistrate, they marched off with their prisoner.
One would think the captain and his band could have slept no more that night, but the mooring has not yet been found that can prevent youth and an easy conscience from drifting down the river of dreams. The boys were much too fatigued to let so slight a thing as capturing a robber bind them to wakefulness. They were soon in bed again, floating away to strange scenes made of familiar things. Ludwig and Carl had spread their bedding upon the floor. One had already forgotten the voetspoelen, the race--everything; but Carl was wide-awake. He heard the carillons ringing out their solemn nightly music and the watchman's noisy clapper putting in discord at the quarter hours; he saw the moonshine glide away from the window and the red morning light come pouring in, and all the while he kept thinking, Pooh! what a goose I have made of myself!
Carl Schummel, alone, with none to look or to listen, was not quite so grand a fellow as Carl Schummel strutting about in his boots.